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Why I Decided to Stop Trying So Hard

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Raise your hand if you’d say you’re trying. You’re trying to learn. You’re trying to seize the day. You’re trying to love everyone. You’re trying to become smarter, gentler, more patient, more thoughtful, or more organized.

I mean, I’ve got both hands raised. I’m totally there. You know, trying.

I’m trying so. hard. every. day.

And I’m exhausted. Are you too? Please, tell me it’s not just me!

I end most days with my feet propped up on a coffee table feeling worn out through-and-through. Some days I end with disappointment that I just can’t seem to keep up. I don’t know who the pressure is coming from or what twisted piece of theology has me so performance-driven. I can’t pinpoint any specific moment from my past that’s got me pushing myself so hard…but the pressure is on.

Are you there too?

Maybe you’re a maximizer just trying to make the most of every moment (you know, #YOLO). Or you’re simply trying to be a good steward of the gifts and talents you’ve been given. You might be the type that sees a friend starting to out-pace you and competitiveness is kicking in. Maybe you never feel you’ve done enough so you’re constantly walking around with guilt.

Whatever the reason, we keep trying, thinking we owe it to something or someone.

Many of our reasons are noble; they’re motivated by gratitude and humility. Thing is, even these noble reasons are not rooted in what’s most true about us—that we’re already loved. We were spoken for long ago and we’ve got a heavenly Father who wants to give us a life we couldn’t have dreamed up on our own. However, His dreams for us have little to do with our own abilities and accomplishments.

It’s time to shift our focus and stop trying so hard. It’s time to slow down.

We’re either in grace or we’re not. If we’re claiming grace then our lives have got to start reflecting it. We’ve got to be willing to slow down regardless of the pace others keep. We’ve got to risk being less productive, less respected and ultimately less valued according to the world’s standards.

Will you stop trying with me? Even if it’s for five minutes today, let’s stop doing, trying and striving. God’s love for us isn’t in what we create, cause or develop. His love is in us. His love is in our being, not in our doing. So for five minutes today, pause. Look up to the One who has the final say, is the very source of the definition of success and the only means to it. Pause for five minutes today and remember that the fate of the world, the fate of your world, doesn’t rest on your shoulders because Jesus already took care of it. Take five minutes today to rest in the beautiful truth that Jesus never said be somebody. He said be somebody’s.


Be present. Be still. Be His. Be whatever it is He’s called you to be and stop trying so hard. We’re in this together.

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